AT LAST, Total has started appraisal drilling of its Norwegian sector Hild asset, which is located close to the UK-Norway median line and the French group’s Alwyn fields complex.
Last month, the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) gave Total the go-ahead to drill a single well using the semi-submersible, West Phoenix. The activity on Hild is expected to last 196 days, including completion and test flowing the well for 10 days.
The field was proven in 1979; however, the high temperature and pressure reservoir is complex and defeated the original licence-holder. This poses development challenges; also regulatory difficulties as an obvious option would be to produce via the UK Alwyn complex.
Total took over as operator of Hild in 1990, since when all but 20 years have elapsed without a definitive solution being nailed down – at least not publicly.
In the Norwegian context, Hild is a stranded asset and one a number of fields that should benefit from the UK Norway Corridor Treaty, which was designed to assist development of such fields.